4 Ways to Limit Computer Time and Focus on Other Things

In this day and age, computers  seem to be an absolute must. There is at least one computer per household, and in my experience people use them often throughout the day. There are so many great uses for a computer! Thousands, in fact! We make blogs, websites, papers, forms, certificates, graphs, stories, games, and so forth. We play games, we connect with people, we hunt for better ways to interact with the world.

Computers are really amazing, and absolutely fascinating, which is one of the reasons I think that we humans like them so much. How can one device hold all that information? How can it tell us that we have a doctor's appointment on Thursday, a new comment on one of our blogs, and that the fork control legislation has been accepted?

There is also the dark side of computer use. Of course the fault of this lies entirely with the human and our susceptibility to addictions.  Unfortunately, I am one of those humans. Computers attract me. I love using them. I like to blog, read blogs, design blogs, play games (not so much anymore), upload pictures, and read stats.

Often, I will get sucked into computer use, and use it much longer than necessary, merely trying to find an excuse to stay on. Things have seriously suffered because of this. My chores and housework would sometimes be forgotten or delayed, I was always "too busy" to play a game with my brothers, and my reading skills and frequency practically went down the drain. There had been a time when I could have read a thick book in two days. Not anymore.

There is one other problem of the computer that unskilled users like me can face, and that is computer illness. I don't know how computer's get their viruses, or how to get rid of them, and that is really bad, considering how much I used mine. Really it's no wonder that it was suddenly stricken with diseases that it's three-year-old build couldn't handle.

My computer crashed. I've had issues with it for a while, and we have restored it to factory condition twice. This time, although I think I could, I haven't. My pictures are still on there this time and I don't want to delete them forever. Maybe someone will be able to rescue them for me someday.

Anyway, that was about two weeks ago and I want to tell you something. It's been amazing! I still get on the computer at least once a day because my Dad, Mom, and Sister are nice and sweet, but without my own computer, I have felt so free!

I know, "this is ridiculous" you say. "In fact, it's almost disgusting. You really were addicted!"

As sad as it sounds, I think I really must have been. However, that's not what I want to focus on anymore. I have enjoyed my time way more than I ever did when I had a computer that worked. I have been reading like crazy, and not just fluff books either! The thing is, I want it to stay this way. Even if I save up and get another computer in the future, I want to strengthen my self-control and limit myself so that I can focus on the things that are more important.

If you are struggling in this area as well, and don't have the blessing of a broken computer to help you out, then I thought I would share a couple of tips. They aren't anything new, but sometimes reading things a different way will make it click more than it ever did before. That's my hope anyway.  These still apply to me in many, many ways!

  1. Start with God. Any attempt at anything will be way more successful with Him helping you along. 
  2. Write a list of things that you want to do on the computer, and stick to that list. Rabbit trails are not forbidden, but they will drag you away from your original plan. If they are really important, add them to a new list for the next time!
  3. Set a time limit. Evaluate how much time your list will take, and set a limit based on that.
  4. Write a list of things to do instead of getting on the computer! In our household we could play a game, read books, go out and ride a bike, or weed a flowerbed, make cookies, fold laundry, knit, crochet, sew, crafts of any sort, write a letter...
As always there is a fine line between being completely controlling of your life and allowing for the need of flexibility. Self-control can become a dictator without good judgement to be an advisor. 

Another thing to consider is that you might not always have to set a time limit. When people go on a diet their stomachs will seem to shrink, until they often say that it doesn't take as much to make them feel full anymore. It's the same with a computer diet. Eventually, spending less time on the computer may become a habit, and you won't need a timer to ring to let you know that you are done.

Let me tell you that the effort it takes is well worth it. If you cut back on time spent on the computer so much more can be done, and life will definitely be more wholesome and full!


  1. I love reading your blog. You are a fantastic writer! I often struggle thinking of things to write, my blog has not bee.updated since March... Ugh

    I also struggle at times finding things to do other than visit the world wide web...

  2. Awesome list! I've found the stay focused app for Chrome a great tool to help me limit my time on the computer. ;)


Did you know that by leaving a comment you will totally make my day? Please make sure that you are not nasty in any way, shape, or form, otherwise I will have to delete what you had to say.